Middletons Steakhouse and Grill in Norwich receives one star hygiene rating

Middletons Steakhouse and Grill on Timber Hill. Picture: Antony Kelly

Middletons Steakhouse and Grill on Timber Hill. Picture: Antony Kelly - Credit: Archant

Broken refrigerating on the day of an inspection has been blamed for a city steak restaurant receiving a rating of one star in its latest assessment.

Middletons Steakhouse and Grill on Timber Hill - previously rated as a five - received just one star in its latest inspection, published this week.

In the report, the inspector raised particular concerns about the temperature at which food was being stored on the day of the inspection.

However Steve Hutton, managing director of the restaurant and its sister location in King's Lynn, said this was down to a fridge malfunction on that day - a complication acknowledged by the inspector.

The inspector stated food, including high risk, ready-to-eat items, were being stored outside of safe temperatures for consumption.

The report says: 'A large amount of food including prepared meats, desserts, sauces and raw meats were being stored in the cellar. The temperature of the cellar was reading 13.9C.

'You [Middletons] informed me that the walk-in fridge had broken down that morning at 9.30am and the food had been placed in the cellar. I found the food at around 6pm.' All the food being stored in the cellar was destroyed that day.

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Mr Hutton said: 'Middletons Steakhouse and Grill has proudly held a five-star hygiene rating at Timber Hill for six years.

'We had an environmental health officer inspection in June, on the same day our cold storage facilities failed, which contributed to the one-star rating.

'We fully respect the decision to award this rating. We immediately rectified the issue and have requested a re-rating at their earliest convenience, whereby we are fully confident we will return to our five-star hygiene rating.'

It was the first time the steakhouse had been inspected since 2014 and also the first since it re-launched after being hit by fire in 2015.

While the majority of the inspector's criticisms were around the temperature issue, concerns were also raised around the cleanliness of some parts of the restaurant, including the hand wash basins in the kitchen and the flooring of the walk-in fridge.

The chain's branch in Middleton, near King's Lynn, was last rated in February 2017 and received five stars.